One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

June 17, 2010

For Thursday of the Eleventh Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 6:7-15

“Your Father knows what you NEED before you ask him.”
The Lord’s Prayer, then, is a short prayer of NEED.
In the first place, we NEED our Father who is in heaven.
To call on him as Father is to confess ourselves to be CHILDREN who NEED him.
So as to be honest in confessing our need for “Our Father,” we must think and choose and live by knowing that we NEED nothing so much as him, and that all else is nothing if we do not have our Father.
We NEED to let go of all that may stand in the way of seeking to be filled by our Father first and above all.
We then also NEED to ask, “Hallowed be thy name.”
We NEED that.
Yet, how shall it be fulfilled unless we do the hallowing, and become the hallowing?
To say “Hallowed be thy name” is to take a stand on going the way of “all hallows”— a stand on walking the way of all saints.
By saying “Hallowed be thy name,” we command ourselves to be saints for the name of our Father.
After our Father himself, what we NEED next of all is to be saints, or else all is lost forever.
Against that loss we NEED to pray, “Thy kingdom come.”
Our Father is a king, and heaven is his kingdom.
We are his children, his subjects, his
followers, and citizens of his kingdom.
Yet we falsify, nullify, and lose it all unless we see to it that his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We NEED to do his will— we NEED it.
We NEED it this day and everyday more than we NEED earthly food.
His will is bread above all being [epioúsion, Mt. 6:11].
As the Lord Jesus says it elsewhere, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work” [Jn. 4:34].
Since we defy our own greatest NEED, we also NEED to ask our Father to forgive us our trespasses.
Even in this, our Father wants that his will be done on earth by our forgiving those who trespass against us.
We NEED to do so, if we are to be children who are with their Father who is in heaven.
We are tempted to go elsewhere than heaven, but are blinded to it by our own FALSE needs by which we lead ourselves into temptation.
We NEED our Father to lead us out of our own self-temptation, and also to deliver us from the evil one who adds his temptations to the ones we make for ourselves.
“Your Father knows what you NEED before you ask him.”
Nonetheless, we ask him for what we NEED so that we know it ourselves, admit it with humble repentance, and commit our whole being to it with faith, hope, and love.

That God Be Glorified in All


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